Actuators and Control in Hard disk Drives: 1980 to 2013

San Jose, CA

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Event Details

The IEEE Control Systems Society, Santa Clara Valley, is proud to present...

Title: Actuators and Control in Hard disk Drives: 1980 to 2013
Speaker: Dr. Art Wagner

Date:  Wednesday, 5 June 2013,  6:30-8:00pm
Place:  Int. Technological University, 355 W San Fernando St, San Jose (Room 103)
Cost:  Free, open to the public
Parking:  Delmas Ave ($2.50/day); West of ITU


6:30pm: light snacks and networking
7:00 – 7:50pm: presentation
7:50 – 8:00pm: Q&A
8:00pm: Adjourn

-Drive South on Highway 87 past San Jose Airport
-Take the Julian St exit toward St James St
-Continue straight onto N Almaden Blvd
-Turn left to stay on N Almaden Blvd
-Turn right to stay on N Almaden Blvd
-Turn right onto W San Fernando St
-ITU is on the right


In computer systems, an important data storage medium, beginning in the 1950s until today, is the Hard Disk Drive (HDD). Using magnetic heads, the HDD reads and writes data on magnetic surfaces of spinning disks. A disk drive actuator positions the magnetic heads on data using a combination of position and velocity feedback control. An engineer configures an actuator from magnets, steel, a coil, bearings, and head arms. The presentation centers on the progression of actuator configurations. The talk pays attention to parameters important for control, such as the force factor or torque factor, mass or inertia, and coil resistance. In this presentation, we discuss configuration evolution from typical actuators c. 1980 to configurations prevalent in today's actuators and control. We answer the question, what has changed, what is the same?

Speaker Biography:
Art taught full time at SJSU for 13 years attaining full professorship with tenure, then he went into the disk drive industry. He designed in the areas of the magnetics and control of the actuator and the spindle motor for a multitude of disk drive companies, including Seagate, Maxtor, Maxoptics, Quantum, Conner Peripherals, IBM, ISS, Priam, Iota, StorCard, and Swan. Along the way, Art taught a series of short courses on the moving coil actuator, the disk drive spindle motor, and perpendicular magnetic recording. He also taught classes part-time at Santa Clara University on mechatronics. Presently, he is teaching a class at SJSU. Art received a bachelor’s degree from Santa Clara University, master’s degree from the University of Arizona, and a Ph.D. from Oregon State University.